The DREAM Student Advisory Board
Board members meet online monthly through a method that is accessible for all members. You can email the entire board at DREAM@ahead.org or individual board members by clicking on the name in the title of each bio. Interested in becoming a member of DREAM? Contact us and we will send you more information.
Garrett Anderson - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Garrett Anderson is a retired Sergeant who served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army from 1998-2006. In 2005, he was wounded in Iraq when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded under his humvee. After an 8-month recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Garrett retired from the army and completed his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Garrett now attends the University of Illinois in the Rehabilitation Counseling master’s degree program. He also works as a graduate assistant at the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education and plans to continue working with veterans after he graduates.
Luccia Arruda - Lesley University
Luccia Arruda is a transfer student at Lesley University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English Education. She transferred to Lesley in 2015 from North Shore Community College (NSCC) in Danvers, MA with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.
During her time at NSCC, Luccia served as Vice President of the international honors organization, Delta Alpha Pi (DAPi). DAPi is composed of students with differing disabilities who have excelled academically. The purpose of DAPi is to raise awareness about disability in general, to discuss disability in school settings, and advocate for inclusion and acceptance—all while fighting to destigmatize disability.
A few of the collaborative events Luccia participated in are speaking on a DAPi panel with fellow DAPi members about disabilities, organizing an art and poetry reading event that featured art and poems from student with disabilities, and presenting a poster at the 2015 Post-Secondary Disability Training Institute. In 2016, Luccia was awarded the first national DAPi Scholarship for her work.
While at Lesley, Luccia hopes to start a new chapter of DAPi and continue to fight to form a support group for women that have been sexually assaulted.
Dan Darkow - Miami University
Dan Darkow is a Master of Science student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He works in the Office of Residence Life as an Assistant Resident Director. In the spring of 2015, Dan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and a minor in Computer and Information Technology from Wright State University.
At the age of eighteen months, Dan was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy II, a neuromuscular condition which affects his overall strength and leads him to drive a powered wheelchair. During his time at Wright State University, Dan found his passion in life, working with students with disabilities in a higher education setting. Upon graduating from Miami University, Dan will continue this work by helping students receive accommodations to fully access the collegiate environment, successfully graduate, and become gainfully employed in our society.
To decompress and relax, Dan enjoys going out to eat with friends, watching endless episodes of shows on Netflix, and interacting with his Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog, Julep III. Together, Julep and Dan take on each day with a positive attitude, working to change the narrative around disabled people in our society.
Finn Gardiner - Brandeis University
Finn Gardiner is a Master of Public Policy student at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is the Boston Community Coordinator for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, where he builds liaisons with local nonprofits and government agencies to advance disability rights, mobilizes disability activists to engage in community advocacy, and approaches policymakers to adopt laws that benefit the autism community and people with disabilities generally. During his year as the Barbara Wilensky Gopen Fellow with the Institute for Community Inclusion and Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, Finn developed a mentoring program for autistic adults to share their education, work, and other life experiences with their mentees.
Finn is also a member of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Disability Advisory Committee, where he meets with interested stakeholders to discuss salient issues regarding disability policy. In addition, he has presented on intersectional disability justice at the White House's LGBTQ Disability Forum, the United Nations’ Autism and Ageing Symposium, and the Autism National Committee's annual conference.
Christopher Johnson - Florida International University
Christopher Johnson is a Maryland Army National Guard veteran who served from 2000-2012 as an Intelligence NCO in 1/158th Cavalry in Annapolis, MD. During his service he was deployed on three separate occasions, twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, earning a Bronze Star on his last tour of duty. As a civilian Chris worked for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as a HazMat Response Technician and more recently for Lockheed Martin as a Sr. Laboratory Technician. He attained his associate’s degree in General Studies with an emphasis in Business and Technology from Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. Chris was awarded a full academic scholarship to attend Florida International University and is currently a senior pursuing a bachelor’s in Information Technology.
Chris is very involved in the FIU campus life. He is currently the president of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity and the Undergraduate Assistant Advisor for the Student Veterans of America (SVA) at FIU. When he joined the SVA he worked as the Information Technology Chair and implemented their first membership management platform, making it easier to provide support, resources, and advocacy for his fellow student veterans and their dependents. Chris is currently fighting to provide veterans at FIU the resources and support they deserve.
Ann Wai-Yee Kwong - University of California, Santa Barbara
Ann Wai-Yee Kwong is a Ph.D. student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara. In 2015, she received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.
As a legally blind Braille reader who emigrated from Hong Kong, she felt that society had low expectations for her future. She was fortunate to have supportive parents, mentors, and the motivation to advocate for resources along her academic journey. As a result, she was selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar, co-founded the first collegiate Goalball team at Berkeley, and worked as an education technician intern in Washington DC. In 2014, Ann testified at the U.S. Senate hearing to advocate for herself and others, informing policy makers of the attitudinal and tangible societal barriers which limit the potentials of people with disabilities.
Ann's advocacy work catalyzed her passion to co-found Survive or Thrive, a support group and mentoring program, with other visually impaired peers. Through her research and advocacy, Ann hopes to continue empowering others to envision, define, and achieve their own future aspirations.
Megan Larson - University of California, Los Angeles
Megan is a proud Hufflepuff, and in her world she follows more dog Instagram accounts than people, wears socks and ‘stocks nearly every day, and hopes for mental health to be of great importance everywhere.
Currently, Mega serves as Fundraising Chair of the Student Advisory Committee at Active Minds. As Director of UCLA’s Active Minds chapter, Megan has created the Mind Your Mind mental health awareness coloring and activity book and developed FreEDom: Recovery is Possible for Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Megan also saw her idea of exposing students to different careers in mental health come to fruition in the event “Mental Health Networking Night,” which included an artist and representative from a nonprofit, neuroscientist, lawyer, clinical psychologist and researcher, life coach, and student advocate.
Megan is passionate about genetics and mental health, and she hopes to someday work in the field of mental health researching the neurogenetics of mental illness or as a social worker. When she’s not advocating for mental health awareness, you can find Megan practicing archery to defend her national title, knitting in her Stitch onesie, and speaking in the British accent she picked up while studying abroad.
Kayla Wheeler - University of Washington
Kayla Wheeler is a junior at the University of Washington in the interdisciplinary Honors program. She is double majoring in Law, Society and Justice and Disability Studies. After graduation, Kayla plans to go to law school.
Kayla’s end goal is to become a disability rights lawyer. She has a passion for accessibility born through her personal experiences of being a congenital amputee and the experiences of people around her. One of her biggest passions is increasing the accessibility of emergency evacuations.
Kayla works as an office assistant for DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology), a transition program for students with disabilities from high school to college and college to careers.
Anthony Workman - The Ohio State University
Anthony Workman is from a small town in Southern Ohio, Waverly to be exact. He is in his third year at The Ohio State University, majoring in Finance/ Pre-Law and minoring in Disability Studies.
Anthony has worked as an intern for a law firm in his hometown during summers and winter breaks for the past 2 years. He hopes to enter law school after graduation with intentions to specialize in elder law and disability rights / advocacy.
Anthony first became interested in disability when he mistakenly took an English course with a focus on Disability Studies, not realizing how much it would impact him. His youngest brother is deaf in his right ear and color blind, has ADD and low vision, and suffers from a heart condition. Anthony saw how poorly his brother’s IEP and other educational needs were handled at school and wanted to make a difference for people with disabilities. Anthony ended up taking another Disability Studies course, this time with Professor Margaret Price and learned of a way to make a difference and relate to others through the Disability Studies community. Anthony wants to see a change in the way we look at and treat disability in our society.
Kimberly Elmore - Texas Tech University
Kimberly Elmore is a doctoral candidate in the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program with an added focus on disability studies at Texas Tech University. Her essay on including autistic users in the user-centered design process, “Embracing Interdependence: Technology Developers, Autistic Users, and Technical Communicators,” appears in Rhetorical AccessAbility: At the Intersection of Technical Communication and Disability Studies (2013).
Kim taught college-level technical communication, composition, and literature courses face-to-face and online for a decade before transitioning her career focus to research and advocacy for students with disabilities. Her passion is to help individuals navigate available resources to problem solve and achieve their goals. She uses this passion in her current work for DREAM at the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, where she helps provide online access to mentoring and other programs for students with disabilities, and at Texas Tech’s Graduate School, where she increases professional development opportunities and services for online graduate students.
Kim identifies as Neurodivergent with chronic illness. She supports cross-disability and cross-disciplinary activism and advocates for better learning, working, and living conditions for college students with disabilities.
Wendy Harbour - Director of the National Center for College Students with Disabilities